Reactive Dog Program

ActingOut“Settle Down Spot” Program (formerly called the FAR Beyond Program): An Individualized Program specifically designed around each dog’s needs, for dogs who over-react around triggers such as other dogs or people. This program is for dogs that display embarrassing outbursts of barking, jumping or lunging, and are difficult to manage, whether due to over-excitability, leash frustration, fear, or aggression. Our unique program is the most effective way to address your dog’s problematic and reactive behaviors and help the dog feel calm and comfortable around other dogs/people.

The word “reactive” does not mean that your dog is “aggressive”. Many dogs who display reactive behavior while on leash are friendly with dogs or people in other situations. Specific triggers may cause your dog to have a “reaction”, which is an emotional response, outside of your dog’s conscious control. When your dog is in this upset emotional state, he is not able to think or access his repertoire of obedience skills. Teaching your dog more obedience commands will not necessarily help the dog to be more comfortable around his triggers. Instead, we need to change the emotional association your dog is currently making with the triggers, to help the dog feel more relaxed and comfortable in these situations.

What makes the “Settle Down Spot” program stand apart from other reactive dog classes?

  • Each dog is working on their own, highly individualized program based upon that dog’s specific needs and behaviors. The instructor designs every element of the practice sessions to best help each individual dog and their changing needs (such as the intensity level of the triggers, the location of the session, etc.). This is the reason for Happy Tails Dog Training’s outstanding results in working with reactive dogs.
  • The “Settle Down Spot” program allows you to work directly with your dog’s triggers and the real-life challenges that may occur in/near your home environment, with individual attention, guidance and support. As opposed to bringing your dog into a class situation, in which you may be concerned about your dog becoming overwhelmed and disruptive, our practice sessions are realistic, not artificial. Sessions are carefully orchestrated by the instructor to ensure that your dog will be working at an appropriate level to remain calm and comfortable. You will get the individualized guidance and support you need to help build your own confidence in working with your reactive dog, without having to fit in to a set group program.
  • The “Settle Down Spot” program is very flexible. For example, if the instructor feels your dog would benefit from a unique practice set-up or some work with another dog from the program, we will adjust their program to accommodate this and create more exposure to needed triggers. The program runs on a rolling admission format, so you will never need to wait for a particular date to begin the program. Practice sessions are scheduled at a mutually agreeable day/time, and do not need to be done consecutively, so we can accommodate holidays or other scheduling concerns. Dogs within the program work at their own pace, with sessions becoming more challenging as your dog progresses.

Program Details

  • Prerequisites: Owners interested in this class are encouraged to call and discuss their dog’s behavior in more detail. A behavior questionnaire will need to be completed as part of the registration process. In some situations, an initial behavioral consultation or assessment will be recommended, to ensure that your dog’s needs are met appropriately.
  • The “Settle Down Spot” program consists of 1 on-line orientation, 1 in-home private session, and 2 practice sessions with triggers
  • The cost is $400.00 (including GST). Note: The cost of one private session outside of this program is $160.00, so this program offers significant savings, and the results that you will see in your dog’s behavior will be well worth the cost!
  • There will be an additional, $25.00 (per lesson) travel fee applied for locations that require over 1/2 hr driving time from the Scenic Acres area.
  • Program begins on a rolling admission schedule, so you can start right away. You will be scheduled into the program as soon payment is complete and your registration is confirmed.
  • Call (403) 208-5448 if you have questions about this class or would like to register.
  • Full payment of $400.00 (Visa or MasterCard) will be taken at the time of registration. Payment is non-refundable.
  • Once registered, participants will be sent the registration/behavior questionnaire by email. Once we have received the completed form back via email, we will provide your orientation materials.
Class Format Time & Place
Orientation Online presentation. Must be completed prior to initial private session.
In-Home Private Lesson
Initial private lesson is recommended to be completed approximately one week after completing the orientation session.
Private sessions will be scheduled in home by appointment.
2 Practice sessions with triggers Practice sessions will be scheduled by appointment. Location dependent on your dog’s needs.
Optional Add-on services (cost not included in program)
Follow-up practice session ($100.00) Sessions will be scheduled with you at a mutually agreeable time and place.
Advanced group walk ($30.00) Scheduled once/month. Location to be determined.

Client Feedback

  • “A few months after adopting our dog Roxy, we began to notice some reactivity toward other dogs, and eventually she was so difficult to handle on a walk, that I dreaded taking her out. She was lunging and growling at other dogs, completely embarrassing me. I looked into getting help for her, and this course sounded like what she needed, but we were hesitant because of the cost. Finally, she was out of control and I was desperate. Following the orientation, we applied this knowledge and saw immediate results. After a week or two, Roxy made a complete turnaround. I am now able to calmly loose leash walk her by other dogs without her getting over-excited and lunging. She also seems more confident and content at home. Cheryl is a certified behavior specialist with a calm presence and our dog loved her. This course is WORTH EVERY DOLLAR, and we wish we would have done it sooner.” ~ Karen (Roxy)
  • “Baxter is now able to respond to us and look at us when he is fearful of loud sounds or strangers. I liked that this program had great flexibility, and was able to make adjustments to put Baxter in situations that enhanced the training experience, such as coming to our home and working from the vehicle, which were Baxter’s problem areas.” ~ Lindsay (Baxter)
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